I was standing on a small patch of icy snow, crammed with kids and families when I realised I’d changed.
Corin Forest snowfield is just 45 minutes drive from Canberra city and we went on a whim, last Sunday afternoon.
As we collected our tickets and wandered up to the snow, a small voice in my head said, “Is this it?”
I’ll admit I’ve become a snow snob ever since I moved to Canberra. We go to the Snowy Mountains every year and I’ve often whinged about crowded slopes and runs that aren’t groomed to my liking. I sigh when the snow is icy or patchy.
So this field of snow, only slightly bigger than a football pitch, should have been a huge disappointment. I should’ve been thinking how little and crowded it was. But one glimpse of my little boy wiped all complaints from my mind.
He was looking at the snow with wonder. The kids, the toboggans, the snowball fights, the chaos and joy. His two-year-old eyes saw magic and that was enough for me.
That’s when I knew I’d always be looking to him to see if I was having a good time. If he was happy, I’d be happy.
When I became his mother, I hadn’t understood how much of myself I’d leave behind. I hadn’t appreciated how much value I would put in his happiness. I hadn’t grasped that my emotions would forevermore be tied to his. That I would be sad if he was sad, that I’d be miserable when he is and that I’d feel a warmth spread through my limbs with his every laugh and grin.
As I looked around, I could see I wasn’t the only one. Every adult was gazing at their child, filled with delight, their joy inextricably tangled with their child’s. I knew what they were thinking. They were thinking they’d succeeded today. Today they got it right. Today they chose to make a special trip for the kids and it was worth it.
I was giddy. We were at ‘the snow’, my son was having the time of his life and I was feeling like a hero.
He was a puff of too-big snow gear, waddling along the edge of the snow, giggling and jiggling, a little green beanie bobbing along a sea of laughing kids.
We grabbed a toboggan and tried to find a spare patch to go for a slide. It was squawks and giggles galore from the kids running around on the snow. I could see my boy getting more and more wide-eyed.
He jumped straight on to the toboggan with his daddy and went for a slide. So. Many. Squeals. A second trip saw him cop a face full of snow and there were tears, but then he found a mound of snow he could slide down on his bottom like a slippery dip and the joy was back. We found a smaller slope and sent him down on the toboggan by himself and the peel of laughter is still ringing in my ears.
We had a mini snowball fight, which he thought was the best thing that’s ever happened. Mummy copping a ball of snow to the head just about sent him over the edge. It was all just too much hilarity.
I couldn’t help but grin as freezing ice dripped down the back of my jacket because my baby was laughing and that’s what I live for.
I was looking at this sad patch of snow through the eyes of a two-year-old and his joy was infectious. I beamed all afternoon. Even his tears as we walked away made me smile. He loved it that much.
We finished up with hot chocolates by the open fire in the café, which made me feel even more like I was getting the mini-snowfields experience. Just a family of snow bunnies, sipping hot chocolate by the fire after a day on the snow.
We left, cold and happy, discussing when we’d be back. Because we got the day perfectly right, and we can’t wait to do that again.
This post originally appeared on Kidspot